When Scarlett was 7, she desperately wanted the American Girl doll Samantha, for Christmas. She read the books. She pined and wasted. Forget curing cancer (or maybe even bailing out U.S. banks, these days), there must be -- (drum roll and fanfare!!) -- Samantha.
Grandma Mary offered to purchase the criminally expensive doll (like $100 when all is said and postage done). The Matron nearly wept with relief! Finally! And not out of her tiny pocket.
But, being, well, Grandma Mary, when the moment finally came, she decided that Scarlett did not really like Samantha after all, and the brand-spanking new Marisol would be sooo much better! So that's what Scarlett opened on Christmas.
Scarlett loved Marisol, but -- being 7 and all -- was a wee bit sad about Samantha. Imagine her joy in February, when the U.S. mail brought a big American Girl box to her door step!! Surely, the mystery gift must finally be the elusive and longed-for Samantha!!!??
Grandma Mary stumbled across Kit and decided that, because she was just that kind of grandmother, to splurge and send her only granddaughter a second American Girl doll. Yes, even as everyone in her family deeply, and very genuinely, appreciated Grandma's generous spirit, they were confused about a couple of questions:
- If someone asks you, directly, which American Girl doll you would like for Christmas, and you tell them your heart's desire (over and over and over again), do they not buy that doll for you because they forgot or weren't clear or. . . .
- Do they, knowing which doll you really want, buy you not one, but two different ones, because they know what is really better for you and are just going ahead and going that route, regardless?
Shortly after Kit's arrival, Stryker crept into the kitchen with a crumpled wad of money. He said this: "Mom, Dad. I've been saving all my money and I have $87. If you pitch in the rest, like shipping and stuff, I'd like to buy Scarlett that Samantha thing. Please! I really want to."
Now, how could they say no? Stryker's fingers shook as he forked over that hard-earned money, but fork over, he did! She was so proud of him.
Scarlett was then all awash in American Girl love, with not one but THREE dolls within as many months. The Matron was a bit embarrassed by all this wealth. But! One more was in Scarlett's future. The Matron is still in touch with her best friend from high school. This friend has a daughter six year's Scarlett's senior and they are soul sisters! So Heidi, the friend's daughter, decided to give Scarlett her favorite American Girl doll, all used and battered and loved, as testimony to their eternal friendship.
Now there are four.
About six months later, the Matron is in a Borders Bookstore with her children and there's a huge drawing for a free American Girl doll. Scarlett drops a single entry into the vast vat, marches up to the counter and inquires: "When do I get my call that says I win?"
Cashier: "Honey, thousands of kids have entered that. You might not win."
Scarlett: "But they come to me by magic!"
And they did. One week later, she got the call saying she had won Felicity. There would be a small ceremony, photos and such, could she be there to retrieve her doll?
Oh yes! She can be there!!! So Scarlett brings along a friend, the adorable and much adored C. The entire way there, the Matron coaches the children: "If anyone asks, you are thrilled to have this doll! Whatever you do, don't mention that you already have FOUR. Oh my God. Please don't tell anyone!!"
As they enter the store, Scarlett says, "Bet I won two, not one. Felicity AND Elizabeth. They're both coming out together."
Sure enough, those employees handed over American Girl dolls numbers five and six to her daughter. About 15 employees and onlookers gathered round for video, photograph and gratitude. And just when the scene hit its high note, C called out: "She already has four! She has four American Girl dolls at home!"
The Matron? She put her hands over that child's ears and apologized: "I am so sorry. She has minor mental problems and is easily confused! Just ignore her, sorry! She has no idea what she's saying; there are no dolls!" Yes, true. The Matron said that and used a semi-colon in her mind, as well.
But the American Girl doll acquisition proved what the Matron knew: Scarlett had Lady Luck in her corner. This fact was confirmed last fall when the Matron mentioned to a Guthrie actor that Photographer X as their neighbor (she's shy) and had taken Scarlett's head shots, for free.
Actor (ever see someone spit out their coffee? it happens): "Photographer X!! She's Liquid Gold! Do you have any idea?"
No, actually, the Matron did not.
But not only did Photographer X take Scarlett's photo last year, a couple of weeks ago she called the Matron and said: "I'd really like to photograph Scarlett, get a new head shot. Could you bring her to the studio?"
These are the results.
Some of them - there are over 100 photos, all a generous, beautiful gift. Hot dang, that daughter is lucky. Let's just say that Barack Obama? He's in this photographer's portfolio! Along with Scarlett. The Matron likes her daughter's smile in this one:
But, based on Photographer X's recommendation, this is the official 2008-09 head shot for theater:
And for film:
Lucky. This last one is the Matron's favorite.